A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street ★★★★

"THIS is God."

Just as I asked how could the girl from Donnie Darko fall asleep during The Evil Dead, I am once again asking how could Nancy fall asleep to The Evil Dead II?

Great concept, almost flawless execution, a little steam lost near the end. Freddie (Freddy?) certainly isn't necessarily scary, but he is DAMN entertaining to watch. I know people have been saying it for decades, but man Englund absolutely bodied that. Very apparent why he has become one of the most prolific horror villains, he is extremely fun to watch with some killer delivery.

Nightmare transcends the "typical" slasher tropes simply because Craven cares so much about the narrative and about Nancy in particular that everything feels slightly elevated than what it might be in the hands of a lesser creator. The first half also feels very much like it could have (and probably did) inspire Twin Peaks, with its strangely natural dreamlike quality and focus on the teenage characters.

It hasn't all aged well, a lot of the dialogue and acting feels very stiff and of its time, but the effects are cool, the kills are unique, and there are some genuine thrills to be found even all these years later. There's a deep, creeping existential dread that is built in from the start, like every moment might be revealed to be a nightmare waiting to be sprung into action. It's also a refreshingly interesting take on generational trauma all the strings that come attached to that. It's a really fun 90 minutes, and I totally get why it has resonated with so many people for so long. Not really interested in any non-Craven sequels, but I think I'm gonna have to put New Nightmare on next the list for next year.

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